Energy Policy

New Iceland Tech Shakes Up Global Geothermal Energy

July 9, 2023

Amongst the many common facts about Iceland (Björk, Chess in Reykjavik, and Viking Sagas), many know the island’s nickname, “The Land of Fire and Ice.” Beautiful landscapes draw tourists to volcanos and geysers, contributing to an internationally renowned clean energy model that derives 99% of power from clean energy through a combination of geothermal and hydropower sources. The geothermal element of this framework is vital for the model’s success and profitability. The conventional wisdom once posited that Iceland’s energy model was unique and could not be widely exported and replicated. Now, thanks to a series of scientific innovations, Iceland may end up as a model for energy policy in many countries and regions worldwide.

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The Promise and Peril of AI in the Energy Sector

June 29, 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the energy industry, driving digitalization and predictive capabilities. While boosting efficiency, it also exposes vulnerabilities that require careful management. Cyberattacks, which will increasingly leverage AI, experienced a significant surge of 2000% between 2018 and 2019, but the frequency has since stabilized.

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India’s Green Energy Potential Hampered By Pakistan’s Turmoil

June 26, 2023

The environmental costs of extracting lithium present another barrier to local lithium production which may exacerbate tensions. The mining of lithium, like other minerals, will pollute the surrounding areas, potentially contaminating the groundwater and exposing local populations to toxic chemicals. The fact that Jammu and Kashmir are the origin points for Pakistan’s primary river, the Indus River, means that Indian mining may contaminate the literal lifeline of its nuclear-armed rival, exacerbating conflict.

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The Inconvenient Truth: When Green Energy Pollutes

June 21, 2023

While the most cited downside of the green energy transition is its financial and technological costs, it is crucial to remember that green energy also bears environmental costs. These costs are far more localized and immediate than the dispersed and global benefits they bring. In a purely philosophical and utilitarian consideration, green energy is an overwhelming net positive. Nevertheless, neither should this net positive be used to dismiss the legitimate concerns of often marginalized locals. If companies and policymakers do not account for this localized backlash, local environmental activists may ironically impede the green energy transition through political action fueled by justified skepticism.

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Carbon Tracking’s Trial By Fire

June 19, 2023

The precise tracking of this massive carbon release helped inform authorities dealing with particulate pollution and helped firefighters combat the inferno with precise measures of carbon releases. Such precise measurement of carbon is the result of an unparalleled wave of innovation in precise carbon footprint measurement originating from environmental monitoring. This technology has survived its first trial by fire and is set to change environmental legislation.

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China’s Sovereign Wealth Fund In Energy Markets Expansion

June 13, 2023

In contrast to the Western publicly and privately held and disparate investment companies, China’s SWF demonstrates a remarkable degree of policy consistency and wields power to secure long-term power purchase agreements with global energy suppliers—a capability lacking in most Western countries, including the United States. This helped China secure long-term deals for uranium supplies for its growing nuclear power industry, traditional hydrocarbons, foreign hydropower, renewables, and more in every corner of the globe.

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Innovation Fuels Nuclear Energy’s Revival, But Challenges Remain

May 31, 2023

Technological innovations and advanced reactor designs that ensure enhanced safety, efficiency, and versatility are central to nuclear energy’s future. Breakthrough technologies, including advanced fuel cycles, thorium-based reactors, and small- and medium-modular reactors (SMRs), are gaining momentum and investment due to their cost-effectiveness, reduced waste generation, and flexible deployment.

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Breaking Free: The Nuclear Fuel Alliance Strikes Back At Russian Control

May 24, 2023

Moscow’s dominant position in the nuclear supply chain grants Russia influence over the nuclear renaissance in the West, vital for the transition to low-carbon energy generation and helps fund its war machine in Ukraine. To redress these challenges, last month the United States, France, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom formed the Nuclear Fuel Alliance (NFA) to develop a shared supply chain for nuclear fuel. It is 23 years overdue, but better late than never.

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War in Ukraine is creating new Silk Road corridor

May 22, 2023

In the year after Russia’s 2022 reinvasion of Ukraine, freight volume more than doubled on the Middle Corridor, a transportation network connecting Asia with Europe via rail, boat and highway. In March, Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled a new U.S. approach to Central Asia that stressed the facilitation of the Middle Corridor, which bypasses Russia. This route removes Russia’s ability to extort its neighbors by leveraging its transit infrastructure while expanding an independent economic artery to the states of Central Asia and further to China.

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Top Six Transformative New Green Energy Companies

May 19, 2023

While newcomers abound, only a few are capable of being truly #transformative. These small companies are already producing technologies that could revolutionize #renewable#energy and induce fundamental transformations in international #geopolitics and #geoeconomics.

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The Global Take | Kazakhstan's Political and Economic Reform| New Lines Institute Event

May 19, 2023

Dr. Ariel Cohen participated in a panel discussion organized by the New Lines Institute and the International Tax and Investment Center on the strategic implications of Kazakhstan’s political and economic reforms and what Washington needs to learn from Kazakhstan’s pro-reform agenda to increase engagement with the country and other Central Asian states.

Watch the video here

The Global Take | Is a default in USA possible? | Spotlight Ukraine

May 17, 2023

The United States of America has been borrowing more money than it has been earning for decades. This has led to concerns about the country's ability to repay its debts and the possibility of default. In the case of the United States, default would have serious economic consequences both domestically and internationally.

Watch here.

Chile’s Nationalization Of Lithium : “Green Protectionism” Endangering Energy Transition

May 16, 2023

The nationalization of industry isn’t the only thing Boric promised. According to Boric’s plan, the new, state-owned company is more than simply the long arm of the government collecting profit from a natural resource. It bets on an emerging technology called the Direct Lithium Extraction process (DLE). While DLE performed well in controlled environments, it is still unclear whether commercial use will succeed.

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Putin’s ‘Gambler’ Mentality is a Wild Card in Global Energy Markets

May 16, 2023

Interstate relations are normally governed by self-interest and restraint but the ongoing war in Ukraine, when coupled with Russia’s escalatory bent, have rendered predictions about a return of political and energy stability precarious, if not impossible.

The Cipher Brief recently spoke with Ariel Cohen, director of the Energy Growth and Security Program at the International Tax and Investment Center, about the spillover of the war into a global energy crisis and what that means for 2023, when Cohen says we may experience “the toughest circumstance in Europe probably since World War II.”

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Where In The World Are Putin’s Billionaire Cronies?

May 10, 2023

While Putin may no longer see the utility in showing unity with Russia’s business elite, going from “unshakable unity” in March 2022 to imploring “patriotism over profit” in March 2023, this does not mean they are unimportant. After being banned from traveling to most Western nations, these oligarchs lost 97 billion dollars and counting. Sanctions deeply hurt the Russian economy and even resulted in some non-energy oligarchs risking their lives publicly calling for peace.

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Central Asia: An Emerging Food And Energy Supplier For The World

April 25, 2023

The West must understand the groundswell of anti-Russian sentiment that is sweeping Central Asia while understanding the structural constraints facing these governments. An Atlantic Council event “How can Kazakhstan and Central Asia power and feed the world?”, for a forthcoming report by Margarita Assenova, Ariel Cohen, and Wesley Alexander Hill elucidates many of these problems and solutions.

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Investment In Batteries Can Supercharge Renewables

April 17, 2023

Power production will remain CO2 positive no matter how many wind turbines or solar panels we install until fusion is cracked. Long-term storage methods are required to fill energy baseload gaps in renewable generation, creating solutions for key technological and economic challenges surrounding the renewable energy transition.

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Russia’s Kowtowing To China: Energy And Beyond

April 13, 2023

On its one-year anniversary of invading Ukraine, Russian gas sales were halved compared to before the war. Russia hoped that Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow would allow for some relief. Xi did deliver some flowery language, stating “Right now there are changes – the likes of which we haven't seen for 100 years – and we are the ones driving these changes together” when describing relations with Russia. Xi also emphasized the importance of energy in an earlier open letter, writing that “China is ready to work with Russia to forge closer partnership in energy cooperation.”

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OPEC+ Oil Price Rise May Trigger A Recession

April 5, 2023

The OPEC+ cartel of oil-producing nations led by Saudi Arabia and Russia and chaired by Alexander Novak, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, is going to remove nearly 1 percent of total global oil production from the market in an apparent effort to increase prices. Despite earlier signals that OPEC+ would make no further reductions to oil production this year, the recent announcement was framed as a “precautionary measure” to ensure stability in the energy market. With oil prices surging 6.3% on Monday, to $85 a barrel for Brent, the Federal Reserve and other central bankers across the globe trying to get inflation under control, have been thrown a curveball.

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Greta Thunberg Has Embraced Nuclear Power: Will The Greens Follow?

April 3, 2023

The Green icon Greta Thunberg seems to be taking a pro-nuclear stance. The Swedish climate activist once decried nuclear energy as being “extremely dangerous, expensive, and time-consuming”. Her views seem to have changed in tandem with recent trends in public opinion as she recently argued that Germany shutting down its nuclear plants was a ‘mistake’. Greta, alongside other climate activists, emphasized that the alternative to nuclear would be coal, a most polluting energy source.

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How Electric Vehicles Can Leapfrog To Emerging Markets

March 28, 2023

The shift of technologies from the cutting edge to the mundane defines technological revolutions. We are amid such a revolution. As Electric Vehicle (EV) technology matures, electric cars are becoming cheaper and their customer base in advanced post-industrial economies is. continuously expanding. That expansion is also happening internationally, with the Global South joining the race for cheap EVs. This market growth is not just the fulfillment of the technological potential of EVs, but a great environmental gain as well.

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Has China Shifted the Middle East Balance of Power?

March 27, 2023

Earlier this month, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore diplomatic ties after seven years and signed a China-brokered agreement in what is being termed a breakthrough deal for the region. How does this impact and alter America’s geopolitical stature in the region? What are the first and second-tier consequences of weakening the U.S. presence and position in the Gulf in favor of Washington’s main geopolitical rival?

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Kazakhstan’s Parliamentary Elections Affect Energy Flows From Eurasia

March 23, 2023

On March 19th, 2023, Kazakhstan held competitive elections for its lower house – the Mazhilis – to decide the political direction of the young democracy established after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Despite some reported problems, the parliamentary elections were the freest in the country’s history and a vital step forward for Kazakhstan’s democratization and political pluralism.

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Protecting America’s Power Grids From EMP Attacks

March 20, 2023

The possibility of such an attack is growing as EMP technology is evolving. The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from EMP Attacks, alongside military officials, warned years ago of the possibility of balloon-based EMP attacks. Given that our grid infrastructure is weak, aging, and lacks resilience, EMP attacks could become the choice weapons of America’s enemies, and not just China.

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Bipartisan Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism - A Political Unicorn?

March 15, 2023

A Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) allows a country to impose a price on carbon emitted during the production of goods in the country of origin as import fees, thus incentivizing greener manufacturing. This has been a perennial aspiration of environmentalists for decades that once languished in obscurity but is now rapidly becoming policy. Now, this step forward in climate policy may be legislated with bipartisan support in the US Congress, with far-reaching implications not just for the environment but the international economy.

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